escrow officer role

How Does an Escrow Officer Factor Into the Home Buying Process?

As a home buyer or seller, an Escrow Officer is someone you may not have direct contact with during the home buying or selling process. Unlike your real estate agent or broker, who you speak to and see on a more regular basis, the Escrow Officer works quietly in the background in an unbiased way to ensure that your transaction goes smoothly.

Keep in mind that Escrow Officers are working as a third-party between both the buyer and seller at different points during the sale. 

Here are some of their key responsibilities! 

  • During escrow, the Escrow Officer will receive and hold the buyer’s funds in a non-interest-paying trust account. 
  • Your Escrow Officer is tasked with reviewing and complying with all of the agreements as outlined in the Purchase Contract and Joint Escrow Instructions that pertain to the escrow process. 
  • During escrow, the Escrow Officer will follow mutually signed written instructions that have been agreed upon by the buyer and seller. 
  • Your Escrow Officer will manage the preparation of Escrow Instructions/General Provisions, Amendments, Grant Deed (for seller’s signature), Estimated Closing Statement, and any additional documents that are required to clear title, and/or that are required by the new lender.  
  • Situationally, there are times when your Escrow Officer will obtain reports as required by the purchase contract, and provide the same to the buyer during escrow for their review. This is in addition to any reports that are ordered by the buyer, seller, or agents outside of escrow. 
  • Your Escrow Officer will ensure that escrow is in receipt of the buyer and seller signatures on the Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions, Escrow Instructions/General Provisions, Grant Deed, any Amendments, Estimated Closing Statements, and any other documents that are required during escrow.
  • Escrow Officers receive the loan documents from the buyer’s lender (when applicable) and prepare Amendments and Estimated Closing Statements as required by the lender based on the lender’s instructions.
  • Your Escrow Officer will order the evidence of insurance from the buyer’s insurance agent (as required by the new lender)
  • Once completed, they will send the signed loan documents and all lender-required items to the new lender in order to have the loan funded.
  • Your Escrow Officer will also submit original recordable documents and any releases to the Title Company that are required to clear title for recording at the close of escrow.
  • They will also ensure that escrow is in receipt of all necessary funds to pay the seller their proceeds, in addition to all invoices that have been agreed upon by the buyer and seller during escrow.
  • You Escrow Officer will ensure that the seller has sufficient equity in the property to cover all of the costs, pay off any liens, and/or invoices that have been agreed upon by the buyer and seller during escrow.
  • They will double-check all of the required escrow paperwork to ensure that the buyer is provided with a clear title to the property.
  • Lastly, prior to the close of escrow, your Escrow Officer will ensure that all of the conditions that have been agreed upon by the buyer and seller on the purchase agreement and in writing through escrow have been satisfied. This takes place prior to the property being transferred into the buyer’s name.

Of course, if you have any questions or need assistance with an escrow, please don’t hesitate to contact us. It would be our absolute pleasure to assist you!